Hello again Provence.

And breathe. Deep, beautiful, happy breaths. I am here in my soulful home and am feeling calm and peaceful. At long last.

 I have arrived, I have my own parking!

I have arrived, I have my own parking!

This year has been a strange one. I’ve been delinquent in any blogs over the course of the year, and to be honest, I just haven’t felt like there was much to say. 2016 has been strange, starting off with the death of a great talent, David Bowie, to endless terrorist attacks, to a toupee wearing, xenophobic madman as an actual presidential candidate in the US (no it’s not a hoax, bizarrely enough), to a slow economy and a general malaise in the zeitgeist. The only word I feel aptly sums up the world in 2016 is unhinged. Yes, we’ve become unhinged and I personally feel it viscerally. Like the ground is off-balance.

As a result of all this I’ve had a rather subdued year compared to normal. Far less travel which always leaves me feeling anxious. I’ve had endless people ask if I was still going to France, they were so worried about all the terrorist activity. Really? I never gave it a second thought. It would be like winning the negative lottery. The likelihood of getting caught up in something untoward is highly unlikely. But if it did happen, there would be nothing I could do about it. C’est la vie. And that is how I live my life. I don’t let things like this stop me from doing what feeds my soul. As much as things aren’t at their best in France, it’s still the only place I know that has the ability to make my spirit soar, my senses delight and keeps me turning the pedals of my bike over with utter joy.

 Lavender and the Ventoux. Two of the most beautiful things.

Lavender and the Ventoux. Two of the most beautiful things.

I’m not a reckless person, I am not going to a war-torn region of the world for heaven sakes—this is France! One of the most civilized places on earth. I always forget just how formal and polite things are here, and I really like it. Even in Paris. While only there for one night, the people were in hyper-friendly mode. Everyone had a big smile, were very helpful and downright chatty. Everything went better than clock-work, not a tiny hiccup in the long journey to get here. And I arrived in Provence, where the sun is shining and the mistral NOT blowing. There is that unmistakable scent of here, slightly sweet and a little herbaceous. Impossible to say exactly what it is, it's simply the smell of here. I have been aching for a proper summer and this place.

So thank you Provence for being exactly as you always are. Perfect.

 View back to the Dentelles from Col de la Chaine. Check out that amazing blue sky!

View back to the Dentelles from Col de la Chaine. Check out that amazing blue sky!